Online classes become a problem in India

The Covid-19 epidemic has wreaked havoc on the worldwide schooling system. To enforce social
distance, classes have been halted, and educational institutions, from schools to universities, have
switched to online teaching and evaluation techniques. There is no way to determine when normalcy will
be restored as the number of cases continues to climb. This has prompted a persistent movement toward
online education, if not a full transition. The new National Education Policy (NEP) for 2020, which was
adopted last year, also mentions being prepared for digital and online education, with the caveat that the
digital gap must be bridged to fully benefit from such approaches. This article is about the caution regards
the sudden push towards the online education in India.
Access to devices and the internet are not the only requirements for a widespread transition to online
education. It’s also about sensitivities. In government organizations, for example, switching to online
techniques might be considerably more difficult than in private ones. According to a 2017-18 all-India
NSO study, three-quarters of Indian pupils do not have access to the internet at home. The percentage of
people who did not have access to a computer, including devices like laptops and tablets, was
significantly higher—89 percent. Students with greater levels of education had more access to these
amenities. Even at the highest levels, however, a significant number of pupils did not have access to these
resources which is a great concern. A financially weak household had a deep wound in their budget while
purchasing these technical devices and with the lockdown and shut down of all the shops round about, it
became more difficult to have access of the same. An abrupt move to online schooling might put a burden
on such families’ financial resources. According to rough estimations, online education might be
prohibitively expensive for the poorest families. They demonstrate, for example, that watching a 480p
movie on YouTube (or a video with a resolution of 854×480 pixels) consumes around 264 MB of data
each hour. On the platform, five-hour online classes five days a week will consume 26.4 GB of data each
To be sure, internet access must have risen between 2017 and 2018. The number of internet customers in
India rose from 446 million to 719 million between 2017 and 2019, according to the Telecom Regulatory
Authority of India (TRAI). Wireless connections have accounted for much of this expansion (272 million
out of 273 million). Mobile phones are great for listening to online lectures, but they are not the best
medium for completing examinations or assignments. Access usage of mobile and internet have also
shown negative effects in school children and parents have been complaining about the rising concern of
their kids. ‘Can you hear me? Can you see me? Sorry teacher, I have a poor signal, I could not connect
because of poor internet connection’ these are some lines which students have been singing all along with
their online education system. Schoolchildren have realized that lessons will not commence in the usual
surroundings of their school any time soon. As a result, many of them are looking forward to class
starting so they can listen to their teacher and see their classmates online. Some parents have praised
online classes, while others have spoken out against them. Students deprived of classroom interaction and
fun along with the break between the classes making it very difficult nearly impossible to grow and learn,
especially in primary classes from nursery to 5 th .
Challenges to system
Lack of sustained connectivity
The Indian internet infrastructure is not prepared for the paradigm change to online learning needed by
COVID-19, and most students cannot afford two square meals. School is their favorite part of the day.

Even though they are not required to, many students sit anxiously for classes to begin wearing their
uniforms. Many parents are unable to purchase data due to a lack of connectivity, so professors film their
lessons and email it to students who are unable to access it. Each lesson lasts 40 minutes, following which
the students are given a break before participating in either an art class or PE (physical education).
Increase in screen timing
As online education grow, as obvious screen timing has increased to 5-6 hours a day. Parents are much
concerned about the health of their children and strain on eyes as due to this kid’s eyesight could be
hampered or affected. Not only for the classes but then classwork and other assignments too which are
prepared with internet help increase the screen timing.
Understanding difficulties
Graduation and postgraduation courses student somehow are happy about their online education but on
the other hand for the school kids it is not as fruitful. Primary kids need to have a competitive
environment and physical understanding with which they bond with other classmates along with teachers.
Virtual board could never be better than black boards at school. Science practical, physical education
period, computer lab, drawing class, music, dance and much more have been taken away from kids due to
New system of learning
Parents and students have not been exposed before of this type of education. This causes a drastic
difficulty in coping up with the same. Again, big problem lies with the primary students who needs help
of their parents. Parents who could not help their children with devices and zoom or google meet apps are
facing much of difficulties.
While instructing, some instructors expressed concern about being judged by parents. Teachers must
ensure that they do not make any errors, which is a possibility. They also have little influence over pupils
in this setting; for example, if they notice certain students eating breakfast while studying, they are unable
to intervene. Schools contains a code of conduct. Along with English speaking, morning assemblies and
other important basic habits that a student learns in school, is nearly unavailable to them at home.
Is it possible for online education to take the place of traditional schooling? It cannot be the only choice
since socialization and life skills are essential for education and cannot be substituted by online learning.
However, other experts believe it may be used in conjunction with offline lessons in the event of a
pandemic. In this sense, it can assist in bridging geographical divides. What needs to be considered in the
post-pandemic drive for online education is that the poorest of the poor pupils are not left out because
they lack the resources to access it. One way to achieve this is for the government to step in and make this
new learning system accessible to everyone.

By- Tanushree Chakraborty

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